The Super Bowl promises to be a hair-raising matchup between two former USC Trojans, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews.
Polamalu’s hair is sponsored and insured for $1 million by Head & Shoulders. And now Matthews firing back, signing a deal with Unilever’s Suave brand.
Matthews’ marketing agent Ryan Williams of Athletes First told CNBC that it’s a one-year deal that includes media appearances pre- and post Super Bowl and a production day should the company want to film a commercial or additional advertising with him. Terms were not disclosed.
“The idea behind Suave is that men need different products than women,” Williams said. “Clay really wanted to do a deal like this.”
After it was clear that Matthews would face off with Polamalu in the Super Bowl, a reporter asked Matthews about a possible hair endorsement.
"I've been throwing it out there and just getting shunned," Matthews said on Monday. "I don't know what it is...America, I'm looking for a hair deal."
Sources say Procter & Gamble’s Head & Shoulders was not interested in Matthews. But the Suave brand, which says it has recently formulated its shampoo for men, wanted to ink the deal.
There has been plenty of sports sponsorship spending in the men’s grooming category of recent. Dove for Men has signed Andy Pettitte and Albert Pujols. Gillette recently signed Ray Rice and Matt Ryan. Nivea for Men has signed European soccer sponsorships and a locker room branding deal with the New Jersey Nets and Vaseline for Men has used Michael Strahan in its marketing.
Matthews, who was drafted as the 26th pick by the Packers in the 2009 draft, is one of the favorites to win the league’s Defensive Player Of The Year Award, which will be announced during Super Bowl week.
Procter & Gamble is the largest consumer products company in the world, while Unilever is right behind them at number 2.
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